Janet Hubbard: Bordeaux: The Bitter Finish

I never thought I would get into a series without starting at the beginning.

But I somehow read the blurbs for both books and didn’t think there would be a connection, save from the main character Max getting into another mystery crime.

Seems I was a bit wrong on that count but it doesn’t matter, as all the important things can be understood from this book in reference to what happened the previous year (in the previous book).

It’s a nice crime story centered around counterfeiting wine with a little romance thrown in. I really enjoy drinking wine but I admit, now it seems I am a total ignoramus when it comes to it (and I thought how I knew a little to get me by). bordeaux

That said, chances of me ever having the knowledge the French characters in this book, who are wine aficionados, have, is basically zero. 🙂 Also, I don’t have the means to drink that kind of wine.

As a side note, what I thought was perfectly reasonably priced wine I enjoy, seems to be the cheapest, lowest quality stuff. 😦 At least when it comes to French wine.

And not only do I have no knowledge of wine industry, I also lack some serious information on the importance and complexity of cheeses. Turns out I am rather ignorant of much of what I enjoy in my everyday life. 😀 Talk about being put down in your place. 😉

Anyway, if you want a nice, educating read about wine you will probably never be able to afford, this is the book for you.

Ok, that was mean. 😉

But really, I make it sound bad when I actually  learned a lot and had fun in the process. The characters and the story could do with some more consolidation but in general, it’s a window into a world that was, until now, unknown to me.

And when the next installment is out, I’ll be reading it. It ended in such a way as to suggest a sequel.

“NYPD detective Max Maguire returns to France as bodyguard to a famous American wine critic. Max’s mother is French—so Max is not only bilingual but blessed, or cursed, with disapproving (and devious) French relatives. Max is not just escorting the critic, she’s also keeping an eye on a very expensive bottle of wine whose authenticity is in dispute, a  pawn in cut-throat wine wars involving critics, wine collectors, and auction houses. Checked into their Paris hotel, it’s not long before Max discovers her client dead in her room and the bottle stolen from the hotel’s safe. So she has no choice but to team up with examining magistrate Olivier Chaumont, the man she had fallen in love with the year before while solving a murder in Champagne. Olivier’s sidekick, Commissaire Abdel Zeroual joins in. Max has no police role in France but she stays  a step ahead of the French investigators using tactics learned back in New York, while Olivier weaves in and out of Bordeaux society where he is certain the murderer lurks. Is this something local, or is there really a counterfeit wine operation in play? Moving back and forth from Bordeaux to Manhattan among vintners, restaurateurs, auctioneers, collectors, the rich, as well as among less privileged players, everyone is propelled towards a shocking climax.”

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5 thoughts on “Janet Hubbard: Bordeaux: The Bitter Finish

  1. Martha March 12, 2014 at 22:06 Reply

    I’m always reading series out of order. I get most of my books at used bookstores rather than either the library or new bookstores, so I just buy a series book by book with no regard for order, until I’ve read them all.

    I sort of enjoy it. You don’t get those hey-I-a-already-know-this moments if you read things in order. 🙂 (“Ohhh, so that’s how she met X! Too bad he’s going to die later.”)

    My wine preferences are centered almost entirely around sweet whites–German or Alsatian Reislings, for the most part, or Moscato D’Asti. So I doubt that I’ll understand the wine bits at all, but all the same, I’m inclined to hunt this book down. If, of course, it’s available used. 🙂


    • Ines March 12, 2014 at 22:16 Reply

      🙂 Now you are making me admit this.
      I might have a problem with that.
      I hate not reading something from the beginning and just cannot start in the middle. I always feel like I’m missing an important part that might have happened before and I won’t understand it while reading something in the middle.
      The same goes for movies /series. I can’t even watch a movie on TV if I realize I missed the beginning (2 minutes).
      I know it makes no sense, and reading this book I realized I learned enough of what happened before that it didn’t take away from the reading pleasure so it shouldn’t be a big deal.
      But I don’t plan on repeating something similar soon. 😉


      • Carol March 12, 2014 at 23:50 Reply

        I like you, Ines – I cannot start in the middle (though i did with the Jo Nesbo series, but only because they hadn’t translated the first two book until much much later!)


        • Carol March 12, 2014 at 23:50 Reply

          Ooops I meant “I’m LIKE you” but I like you, too!


          • Ines March 13, 2014 at 12:24

            Lol, I was wondering about that but I figured out a missing letter is probably what happened.
            But you made me laugh. 😀


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